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Objectives

  • Identify, locate, and acquire spatial data pertinent to projects in student's field of interest, as well as pinpoint significant gaps in or problems with existing information.
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of the existing data sources for use in a project.
  • Understand the data creation process and create simple data sets and/or add to existing data.
  • Create spatial data from tabular information that includes a spatial reference.
  • Perform basic spatial analyses (attribute and spatial queries, buffering, overlays) as well as linking these methods together in a more complex analytical model.
  • Create high-quality maps and associated graphics and text that clearly communicate spatial information and analyses.

1. General Course Requirements

Students will be expected to attend every class and to complete all graded lab and written assignments - these will require additional computer/lab time outside of class. Each student will also complete a mapping/analysis project of his/her choice, assemble and document a spatial database for the project, and create a poster and accompanying short paper explaining the project and showing results.

2. Textbooks

Required:

Juliana Maantay and John Zeigler. 2006. GIS for the Urban Environment. ESRI Press, Redlands, CA, 2006.

Optional:

Andy Mitchell. The ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis, vol.1: Geographic Patterns and Relationships, ESRI Press, Redlands, CA, 1999.

3. Tip sheets

A number of helpful Tip Sheets are available in the Tools folder.

4. Course Schedule

Session

Topic

Readings / Ungraded Excercises

Assignments

1

GIS overview; course overview; lab and software logistics

2

Lab: ArcGIS basics tutorial

Read over tutorials - ArcGIS Basics1 - Using ArcCatalog and ArcGIS Basics2 - Creating a Map with ArcMap

#1 - GIS project examples

3

GIS data structure formats and uses

GIS for the Urban Environment (GISUE) ch. 1; GISUE Lab 1 (no credit)

4

Map projections and coordinate systems; scale; generalization

GISUE ch. 2; GISUE Lab 2 (no credit)

5

Data source: Finding, assessing and using existing spatial data

Review GIS Data Listings - Comprehensive Sites and the US Cities and Metropolitan Regions, plus your area of interest. Also look at the MassGIS website (drill down to the download data link and look through this)

#2 - Project topic interests and spatial questions

(5 Points)

6

Making maps: reference mapping; thematic mapping: mapping quantities and categories

GISUE ch. 3, 4, and 5, Lab Exercise 3 (no credit); optional: ESRI Guide to Spatial Analysis, ch. 2 "Mapping where things are" and ch. 3, "Mapping most and least"

7

Mapping, cont.: discuss GISUE labs 4 and 5

GISUE, Lab Exercises 4 and 5 (no credit) - read over the Cartography Tips sheet

8

Data sources: understanding US census geography and tables

GISUE, ch. 6; read the Census Product overviews available here, and also look at the US Census Web Site

#3 - Basic mapping (10 points)

9

Census data mapping and questions

You should be going through the two Tufts Census tutorials and bringing questions to class: Working with MassGIS Census Data (do first) and Working with Census Data for any part of the US

10

Census data mapping and questions, cont.

You should have finished the Census tutorials above and have read the Working with Excel Files in ArcGIS

#4 - Working with census data (10 points)

11

Data quality issues

Lab GISUE Exercises 6 and 7 - working with TRI data (no credit); get started on Assignment 5 - it will take a while....  See notes for Lab Exercise 7 if you are working in the GIS lab!

12

Using address data in GIS (geocoding)

GISUE ch. 7

13

Trouble-shooting geocoding; adding tabular data that has coordinates

Geooding in ArcGIS manual (PDF), ch. 1, 3-6; Geocoding Tip Sheet. Bring list of addresses to class in Excel or Access format for mapping

14

Basic queries using selection functions; summarizing data

Lab GISUE 8; GISUE ch. 8;  look through chapters 10 and 13 in the Using ArcMapmanual (PDF), to get an overview of selection methods and ways to work with tabular data  (all ESRI ArcGIS manuals are on the S: drive at the GIS Lab - S:TutorialsESRIESRI_Library)

#5 - GIS data quality assessment (10 points)

15

Spatial analysis; joins and overlays

GISUE ch. 9; Lab GISUSE 9 Also see Course Resources for Spatial Joins and Overlays overview

16

Joins and overlays, cont.

17

Working with raster data: comparison of vector/raster tools

Using Spatial Analyst manual - ch. 2 Quickstart tutorial (PDF) - look over, we will do Exercises 1 and 2 in class (in S:TutorialsERSI_Library)

18

Working with raster data: overlays and map algebra functions

ArcGIS Help - Extensions - Spatial Analyst - Getting Started and Solving Spatial Problems - access

#6 - Basic queries - project maps (10 points)

19

Working with elevation data: raster and TIN data structures: brief overview of 3D Analyst

ArcGIS Help - Extensions - Spatial Analyst - Spatial Analyst Functional Reference - Surface - access it online or through the ArcGIS Desktop Help in the software. In particular, read the sections on contours, slope, aspect, and hillshade.

#7 - Project description and data documentation (10 points)

20

Proximity functions: buffer, distance, near functions; raster and vector tools

ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis, vol. 1 - ch. 6 - Mapping What's Nearby (PDF in  S:classesUEP_ENV_IntroGIS eadings)

21

Mapping density: raster and vector tools

ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis, vol. 1 -ch. 4 - Mapping Density (PDF in  S:classesUEP_ENV_IntroGIS eadings)

22

Analysis options for projects

Be prepared to discuss project analysis needs so we can answer analysis questions. Optional reading (pertaining to overlays and selections - ESRI Guide to GIS Analysis, vol 1 - ch. 5 - Finding What's Nearby - PDF on S:drive under S:classesUEP_ENV_IntroGIS eadings

#8 - Analysis flow diagram / Process steps (5 points)

23

Poster design workshop

None

24

Project work

None

25

Project discussion and work

None

Poster Draft Designs (Optional submission due) - in class discussion of poster/project issues

26

Course wrap-up: communities and GIS; course evaluations

GISUE ch. 10 and 11; also look at the web site for Integrated Approaches to Participatory Development (IAPAD)

27

Poster exhibit

Final posters/papers (35 points)

5. Grading

Assignment points are as listed for each assignment. The total points for assignments add up to 65.

Final project poster and short paper is worth 35 points.

Grading will be based on a 100 point scale as follows:

A+

98-100

A

93-97

A-

90-92

B+

88-89

B

83-87

B-

80-82

C+

78-79

C

73-77

C-

70-72